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Ducks @ Stars MORNING RECAP: A Tale Of One Period

Dallas dominates second period to serve Anaheim it’s first regulation loss.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks faced the Dallas Stars Saturday night hoping to match their franchise’s best five-game start. The Ducks came into the game having gone an opportunistic 3-0-1 thanks to the tremendous play of John Gibson and some luck.

In the first period, the Ducks seemed to have both working for them as John Gibson once again controlled the play early on. It also helped that he had some of that luck on his side as he received support from his goal post.

The first period followed the typical trend of Ducks games so far this season. Gibson was relied on heavily to start the game, resulting in Anaheim being outshot and then finding opportunistic goals with some timely offense. The first of those goals would come from Jakob Silfverberg with Max Comtois providing a great screen in front of Anton Khudobin. It was nice to see Silfverberg get on the score sheet as it was his 28th birthday. Keifer Sherwood would get his first career goal about four minutes later with a beautiful tip-in off a Josh Manson point shot. Isac Lundestrom would also receive an assist on the play, recording his first career point in the NHL.

The second period began the same way as the first. Dallas applied heavy offensive pressure and didn’t allow the Ducks to record their first shot on goal until over halfway through the period. Of course Anaheim would receive another goal, this time from Adam Henrique on the man-advantage. Anaheim would also have another rookie register his first career point, as Sam Steel would be credited with an assist. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the celebration would be short-lived. The rest of the period and game would be all Dallas. With a questionable hooking call on Silfverberg, the onslaught began. Dallas would eventually score four times within six minutes, with the first three goals taking less than three minutes. At one point on a Dallas power play, the Stars never exited the offensive zone resulting in Gibson being completely gassed. It was an abysmal team effort all around, and all Gibson could do was succumb to a plethora of shots.

- Randy Carlyle on the team’s second period effort.

Gibson was visibly upset and fatigued as he faced shot after shot. It also didn’t help receiving contact from Dallas players as well as Duck defenders. At one point, Gibson drew a penalty himself, as he took exception to the physicality and face-washed Jamie Benn.

In the period, Anaheim was outshot 30-4 which marked a Stars team record for largest shot differential in a period. It was an absolutely embarrassing frame for Anaheim on both sides of the puck. Even the Stars Khudobin offered his two-cents.

- Anton Khudobin on only facing four shots in the second period.

The final frame didn’t provide much action, as the Ducks used Ryan Miller in relief of Gibson. Dallas would get a late empty net goal for the 5-3 victory and would finish the game with an ugly 51-25 shot advantage.

Best and Worst

Best - Silfverberg continues to be an offensive bright spot for the Ducks. Through the first five games he has 6 points with 2 goals and 4 assists. It was also good to see the young players creating traffic in front of the net. On Anaheim’s first two goals, both Comtois and Sherwood did a great job driving to the crease to disrupt Khudobin. Anaheim will need much more of that type of effort all around if it is going to remain competitive.

Worst - The entire second period. Many casual fans will look at Anaheim’s 3-1-1 record and feel optimistic especially considering how many injuries the Ducks currently have. But the diehard fans and analysts will warn you to be worried. Be very, very worried. The second period play by Anaheim is more true of what the Ducks currently are and not their 3-1-1 record. This is not a very good team, and the laws of averages finally caught up to them. Anaheim can not rely on the play of Gibson night after night and hope to steal points. Do not get me wrong, there is talent on this roster. The rookies have shown flashes of promise, however this team as a whole is currently not at the same level as most in the league. If not for stellar goaltending to help mask the team’s flaws, the Ducks could easily be searching for their first victory. Sloppy puck handling and ugly turnovers in the defensive and neutral zones have allowed the opposition to heavily outshoot Anaheim this season—let alone the second period of this game. With all the injuries on this roster, someone needs to step up and be a leader on the ice besides Gibson. Randy Carlyle’s seat should be heating up.

Three Stars Of The Game

  1. John Gibson
  2. Jakob Silfverberg
  3. Kiefer Sherwood

The Anaheim Ducks will travel to St. Louis to face the Blues Sunday, October 14th at 4PM PST.